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Carleton Ravens Rout Dinos Win Record 12 & 6 Straight CIS Basketball Championship

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Carleton Ravens Rout Dinos Win Record 12 & 6 Straight CIS Basketball Championship
Photo: Ben Nelms

Vancouver – In a year where many doubt them and few believed, the Carleton Ravens silenced all critics and reminded everybody of the greatest collegiate basketball dynasty in North America by winning a Canadian University Sport (CIS) record twelve and their sixth CIS Men’s Basketball championships.

After the massive loss of four starters, including First-Team All-Canadian, Scrubb brother tandem, Philip & Thomas and Canadian Basketball Hall-of-Famer Head coach Dave Smart (sabbatical reasons), coupled with the overall growth and parity of the CIS game, it was easy to look past the Carleton Ravens. Most were already looking next door, across the Rideau Canal to Monpetit Hall, others, perhaps to the next city and next potential champion.

But behind a Carleton Raven patent barrage of three-pointers and an overall, all-around offensive and defensive first team effort the No. 2 Carleton Ravens like they have done before, during their dozen-long, strangle-hold of the W.P McGee trophy, convincingly defeated the No. 4 Calgary Dinos 100-79, claiming the 2016 CIS Men’s Championship and thus reminding the 4,415+ crowd at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, and all of us that they’ve been down this graduation, adversity road once or twice since it all begun back in 2003.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” said Smart.“People called it a rebuilding year, and we kind of figured out halfway that our identity was a little different, and we were going to have to do it by committee. I think every body chipped in. I don’t know – we said it from the start – players were a good fit for our coaches. Neither of us really knew what we were doing, and we kind of stayed with it.”

All five Ravens starters reached double-figures with Carleton’s fourth-year guard Connor Wood (Guelph, ON) making it four-for-four – as in winning four championships, in four seasons by pour in a team-high 22-points on 5-of-12 three-pointers and four assists, four rebounds on his way to being named the 2016 CIS Final 8 Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Fifth year seniors Gavin Resch (18 points, 6-of-12 three-pointers) and forward Guillaume Boucard (12 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists) went out with a bang, ending their collegiate careers once again hosting the W.P McGee Trophy.

Carleton Ravens Rout Dinos Win Record 12 & 6 Straight CIS Basketball Championship
Carleton Ravens Rout Dinos Win Record 12 & 6 Straight CIS Basketball Championship

Point Guard Kaza Kajami-Keane (Ajax, ON) and Forward Ryan Ejim (Toronto, ON) both transferred to the Ravens program with the sole purpose of winning a championship title and were both instrumental in adding to the long list of Gold medals, championship banners and hardware collection at the Ravens Nest. Keane who benefited from the new CIS/NCAA transfer rule finished with 15-point, 10-assist double-double while Ejim added 12 points, 6 rebounds and four blocks.

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Calgary  returned to the title game for the first time in 50 years (1966) and scored the first points of the highly anticipated championship on a made basket by All-Canadian, American Thomas Cooper (Chattanogga, Tenn.) who netted a game-high 25 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, but never regained the lead as the Ravens buried sixth triples in the first-quarter to grab a commanding 26-14 advantage, cruising to a game-high 24-point lead before settling in for yet another Championship celebration.

The Ravens shot the lights out in the opening half, burying 10-of-20 (50%) three-pointers and added six more to finish the night at 16-of-36 (44%). Carleton got 21 more shots up than Calgary on 40-for-81 (49.4%) shooting from the floor. Calgary managed only 66 attempts, making only 26, for only 39%. Ravens also held the Dinos to 7-of-28 (25%) on threes and won the rebounding war with 47-37 advantage.

The Ravens are now 12-0 in CIS championship games, their only losses have both happened in Ottawa at the National semi-finals stage (2008 vs. Acadia Axemen & 2010 vs. Saskatchewan Huskies). Additionally, the 101 points scored against the Dinos marks the most points Carleton has ever scored in CIS Final 8 game and the most (79) points they’ve allowed during their current twelve championships.

With their sixth straight national title in hand the Ravens move within one of the all-time record held by the 1979-86 Victoria Vikes for most consecutive CIS championships at seven.

With only two fifth-year graduating players expected to leave the Nest and the eminent return of the Dave Smart looming, you can bet the #Questfor7 hashtag will eventually come to life and the preparation for number seven will begin tomorrow and will likely end with Carleton celebrating in Halifax in 2017.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jerksquad

    March 24, 2016 at 09:32

    Rout*

    • Edilson J. Silva

      March 24, 2016 at 10:51

      Thank you! Corrected!

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U Sports

Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin

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Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin
Omar Shiddo is Western University's leading scorer this season with 19.4 points per game. Photo: Western Mustangs

It’s around 8:30 p.m. on a frigid Wednesday in the dead of winter, and Omar Shiddo is having his worst game of the season. 

The fourth-year Western Mustangs guard, who has drawn comparisons to Damian Lillard for his clutch shooting, has just five points in the first half of a tight game against the Guelph Gryphons. 

In the second half his game marginally improves, but there are a series of missteps — layups that don’t go down, jump shots that rim out and an occasional lack of motion without the ball. 

Shiddo also gets hit with a technical foul after a physical bucket he felt should have resulted in an and-one, clapping back at two Guelph players who allegedly chirped at him during the play.

This is a far cry from the kinds of performance Shiddo is known for, and light years away from the 35-point outburst he had four days earlier in an 84-79 win over rival McMaster.

It doesn’t matter — not even remotely. 

Western clamps down on defence in the second half and several teammates make big shots. Shiddo helps neutralize Guelph guard Malcolm Glanville, who had 11 first-half points and showed signs of catching fire. 

Shiddo finishes with 12 points on 4-15 shooting, his lowest total of the year. Five other Mustang players players score in double-digits, including 27 points from sharp-shooting guard Eriq Jenkins. 

Western pulls away and cruises to a 94-73 victory that’s as ugly as it is decisive. 

Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin
Omar Shiddo knocks down a jumpshot

“That’s a win, boys!” someone shouts emphatically as the team gathers for a post-game huddle in the cavernous, mostly-empty Alumni Hall in London, Ont. — Western’s home court. 

“Guys on my team stepped up,” said Shiddo minutes later in an interview, his soft-spoken analysis tumbling out as quickly as he jukes opponents, like water over Niagara Falls.

“The second half was more of other guys doing their thing and me not having to do as much scoring, which I love to do. It’s all about team … we got a big win.” 

Shiddo is unquestionably a leader — and on most nights, the most effective offensive weapon — on a Western team loaded with potential. 

In his tenure, the Mustangs have been as good as they have been in a decade, with a legitimate chance to challenge for a berth in the U Sports Final 8 — Canada’s version of March Madness — in Ottawa.

“That’s our goal from the beginning of the year — trying to get to nationals,” said Shiddo, who grew up in Brampton, Ont., a hotbed that has produced several NBA players, including Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson and former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett.

“We think we’re a top-five team in the country,” said Shiddo. “We’ve just need to continue to play like it.” 

Western is ranked outside the Top 10 nationally, but has the second-best record in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA), four points behind the Carleton Ravens.

Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin

They’re also first in the OUA West division, with a roster that skews relatively young: Seven of the 12 players are freshmen or sophomores.

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Nikola Farkic, a 6-foot point guard from Waterloo, is team captain and Jenkins (Windsor, Ont.) is arguably its most reliable three-point threat. Veteran forward Julian Walker (Barrie, Ont.) anchors a front court with considerable promise, thanks in large part to lean, athletic second-year players Aaron Tennant (London, Ont.) and Ukasha Khan (Brampton, Ont.).

“A lot of stuff goes unnoticed on the stat sheet,” said Shiddo. “But we’ve got a full team and we’re 10 deep. Everybody plays their role. We’re not a team where it’s one guy.”

He’s right. This win over Guelph is proof enough of that. And yet in crunch time, Shiddo has a penchant for taking over games, Lillard-style, and making big shots.

It has become part of Western lore. 

When Lillard puts a team on his back and wills it to victory in the fourth quarter, fans and media call it Dame Time. When Shiddo does this, it’s #Omellytime. 

Shiddo showed hints of his #Omelly mentality early against Guelph. After Western fell behind 10-2 in the first quarter, his demeanor shifted from deferential to aggressive, pushing the ball up the floor and calmly making a mid-range jumper to cut the lead to six. 

Minutes later, he drilled a three-pointer to make it 12-7, and attacked the basket for a layup that lingered on the rim but didn’t fall. His teammates took their cue and soon Western had its first lead of the game.

At the end of the first quarter the score was 28-28. At halftime Western led 47-46, and they never looked back. 

“I’m not the rah rah type of — football type of leader,” said Shiddo. “I try to lead by example.

Omar Shiddo: Soft-spoken assassin
Omar Shiddo – Western Mustangs Soft-spoken assassin

“Say what has to be said, and other than that just lead by example. It’s not how much you say, it’s about what you say.”

In U Sports, most teams are at the mercy of a Carleton dynasty that has won 14 of the last 17 national championships.

Western is a long shot to come anywhere near the title game this season, and Carleton is favoured to win it. When the teams meet for a regular-season tilt at Alumni Hall on Jan.  31, it will likely be for the last time. 

Shiddo is nobody’s fool. He knows the odds are stacked against his team, even if he’s at his best and #Omellytime is in full effect. 

His confidence is tempered with realism, but it’s still there.

“Against a team like that we’re not going to be up by one at half — we’ll probably be down by 20,” he said. “We have to play our perfect game.” 

They will almost certainly not be perfect. They will almost certainly lose. And yet Omar Shiddo, the soft-spoken assassin, has a question for you.

“Why not shock the country,” he said, “and beat the No. 1 team?”

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U Sports

Carleton Ravens set records in 129-44, 85-point beat-down of York Lions

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Carleton Ravens set records in 129-44, 85-point beat-down of York Lions
Photo: Valerie Wutti/Blitzen Photography

The No. 1 ranked Carleton Ravens improved to 16-2 overall and 8-0 in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference action with a 129-44 — 85 point beat-down of the York Lions to set a modern-day U Sports men’s basketball record, for most points scored and the largest margin of victory in a OUA conference game.

The Ravens’ 129 points is the most points scored in a (OUA) game and the third highest scoring output in historic programs’ 58-year history. Carleton routed the Fleming Knights (CCAA/OCAA) 130-78 in non-conference win on October 3, 2009. The 85-point win is the second largest margin of victory in team’s history — including CIAU, CIS, OUA conference, non-conference and games against NCAA teams.

carleton ravens set u sports basketball records in 129 44 85 point beat down of york lions
Carleton Ravens set U Sports Basketball Records in 129 44 85 point beat down of York Lions

According to historic records, and stats guru Martin Timmerman, the Ravens’ also hold the bragging rights for the most points scored and largest margin of victory in Canadian university basketball history. The all-time mark dates back to the 1964-1965 season with the Ravens’ beating the Ottawa Gee-Gees 144-52 — a whooping 92 point victory in the old Ottawa-St. Lawrence Intercollegiate Association (IAA) conference which was part of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union (CIAU).

The OUA was formed on July 1st of 1997 in a amalgamation of the both the Ontario Universities Athletic Association (OUAA) and the Ontario Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Association (OWIAA).

The previous largest OUA margin of victory stood firmly at 81, 77 points respectively, dating back to two occasions involving the same two teams. January 15, 2011 — the Ravens pounded the now defunct Royal Military College (RMC) men’s basketball program with a 121-40 win in Kingston, Ontario. Two weeks later, on January 28, in Ottawa, the Ravens’ won by a easy 77 points, in a 101-24 cake walk victory.

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The York Lions (7-15, 1-10 OUA) never had a chance — trailing 32-7 after the first 10 minutes and down 64-21 at half-time. The Lions allowed the Ravens’ to outscored them 35-15 in the third-quarter and were limited to just 9 points in the final 10 minutes — while giving-up an another 35-point-quarter.

Stanley Mayambo 17 points, 4 rebounds paced seven Ravens’ players in double-figures. Lloyd Pandi added 14 points, 2 rebounds. Aiden Warnholtz played a game-high 28 minutes off the bench and contributed with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. All of Carleton’s players scored at least five points and attempted at least five shots with only one bench player logging less then 10 minutes of playing time. None of the Carleton’s starting five logged more than 19 minutes of action.

Carleton knocked down 45-of-77 (58.4%) field-goals, made 15-of-32 (46.5%) three-pointers and connected on a healthy 24-30 (80%) from free-throws — while limiting the Lions to just 14-of-62 (22.6%), 4-of-20% (20%) from downtown and 12-of-23 (52%) free-throws.

Carleton, currently on a four-game home stretch will take on the Nipissing Lakers before closing out the first semester with a highly anticipated showdown against nationally ranked and cross-town rival Ottawa Gee-Gees.

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